William Jackson Harper has opened up about what it’s been like filming the next season of Love Life during the pandemic. Harper, who takes over the lead in season 2 for Anna Kendrick, stars alongside Jessica Williams, Punkie Johnson and Chris “Comedian CP” Powell, with guest stars like Ego Nwodim, Kimberly Elise, Blair Underwood and Janet Hubert with Keith David as a narrator.
“When we started, we’d spent over a year in our houses and not talking to folks except on zoom and maybe hanging out outside…and it was really strange to go back to set and be wearing these masks and be around a lot of people. There isn’t the same fluidity,” he said to Shadow and Act’s Trey Mangum for the latest episode of the Opening Act podcast.
“You’re always conscious of putting your masking on, making sure that there were not too many people were in the room or on set if we were filming n a small space. All of that was really strange. It was a little frightening of course.”
Harper also talked about how the cast and crew were vaccinated, making fears a little easier despite the new protocols.
“There comes a point where you just have to forget it and do your job and trust that the vaccines are doing their job…I would have felt terrible if I was irresponsible and brought COVID to set,” he said. “…So I think that it did mean that in my personal life, I wasn’t doing a whole lot…that I wasn’t going to be Patient Zero and get somebody sick because I wanted to hang out in a dive bar with my homies for too long.”
In Love Life, Harper plays Marcus Watkins, a married man whose relationship implodes, leaving him to start all over again.
“Everything sort of kicks off with that relationship coming to an end. What does that mean–when you have this idea of what your life is supposed to be and you think you’re in your lane doing what you’re supposed to be doing and that’s all thrown up in the air?” said Harper. “At its heart, its the story of a guy trying to find himself again at a time when he feels like he should have already found himself.”
Harper said how it’s typical to think that 30-year-olds might feel like they’re past the stage of finding themselves, but he has realized in his own life that he’s now making “brand new mistakes” as a 30-something that he didn’t make before.
“I think that Marcus is a guy that’s going through that same thing of making the certain mistakes and learning about himself and growing even though he’s no longer a young adult but just a regular adult and making his way through that,” he said.
Love Life will debut on HBO Max Oct. 28.
Check out the full episode below: